Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Usury unfriendly

Watching Sky Sports News over breakfast this morning, I was flabbergasted by the content one of the commercials that seem to come along every few minutes on that station. Said advert was from a company called QuickQuid, who are one of these firms who loan money out and then ask for a whopping amount of interest when you repay the loan. You may brand them loan sharks, I couldn't possibly comment. Anyway, so far so predictable for daytime TV ad breaks.

But the thing that really shocked me with this advert was something in the small print at the bottom of the screen (albeit in slightly larger print than the really tiny stuff). The loans are doled out at an expected repayment interest rate of 2356% APR. 2356%!! Almost made me choke on me Shreddies it did. Now I'm no financial genius, clearly, but surely that can't be right, can it?

I was so sure I must have misread the percentage figure and missed a decimal point somewhere, that I went online to check the figures. And what did I find? I hadn't misread the number at all. It actually is a 2356% APR. This is all perfectly legal apparently. Morally repugnant, but legal.

Just pity those poor sods who fall for the soft soap of the advert, where they make it sound all bright and sunny, like they're your bezzie mate doing you a favour or something - they even give you a "special" 25% discount code for when you apply for your loan. (Surely a 2350% discount code would be better - right, consumers?)

The worst thing is, it's the most vulnerable and desperate members of society who are going to be lumbering themselves with these crippling debts (about 6.5% a day, is it?), and whose lives are going to be made even more insufferable as a result. Shouldn't someone in a position of power be doing something about this sort of thing? (Even if they could just stop these adverts being shown on TV, it'd be something.)

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